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Community grants

The risks of coronavirus remain high. To keep everyone safe, please stay cautious. Get the latest information about coronavirus.

Council grant programmes

The council has a number of grant programmes available to voluntary and community sector groups to support activity for people in Middlesbrough. All applications must demonstrate how they link to the Mayor's Vision.

For more information on grants, please contact:

Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer
Phone: 01642 729309

Looking for funding? Middlesbrough Council and MVDA run Find a Funder, an online funding search tool for Middlesbrough communities.

Community Fund

Xplore Christmas 2021 - Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme for Christmas 2021

School holidays can create challenges for families. That’s why Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are working together to distribute over £1 million worth of funding from the Department for Education for organisations to deliver free holiday clubs for all eligible children and young people across the South Tees.

Our provision in December 2021 will be called Xplore Christmas 2021.

We're looking for organisations to deliver clubs across South Tees during the Christmas school holidays. Applications are welcomed from any type of organisation, whether a charity, social enterprise, school, college, commercial company, or another type of organisation. Delivery models will differ and innovative ideas are encouraged. We cannot use any of the funding for October half term delivery.

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:


  • The provision must be targeted at school aged children and young people in receipt of benefits-related free school meals – places for other children and young people cannot be funded by the HAF, although providers are welcome to offer provision to this group on a chargeable basis.
  • The provision has to be face-to-face (i.e. physically in-person, not over Zoom etc.) in line with COVID restrictions.


  • The requirement from the Department for Education is that eligible local children and young people should be able to access provision that is the equivalent to four hours x four days during the Christmas School Holidays.
  • This can be across different providers – the key point is that the participant can access four hours x four days.
  • We are currently considering the feedback from our summer provision – for example, we may look to commission provision that is four hours x four days or alternatively single day experiences or a mixture of the two.
  • The four days could be during the same week or spread across the fortnight.


  • Food must be provided and strong preference will be given to proposals that will provide a hot meal.
  • The food will meet school standards, the food provider in a bid will be registered as a food business with the local authority, those preparing food will be trained to level two food hygiene standards and the food provider will have a food hygiene rating of three or above, if applicable.
  • All of the food preparation will comply with the regulations and take into account allergies, dietary and cultural requirements.


  • Preference will be given to proposals that include at least one hour of physical activity, some family nutritional education and other enrichment activities that are designed to enable children to develop new skills and knowledge and try out new experiences.

Registration with OFSTED if required

  • When a setting is required to be OFSTED registered, that registration should be in place.

The Local Authorities will offer - access to a central booking system, assistance with the promotion of clubs to eligible families, access to high quality training and menu samples, general guidance and support with the interpretation of regulations and good practice.


If you'd like to be part of Xplore Christmas 2021, you can apply now.

Read the Xplore Christmas guidance and criteria (PDF), then fill in the Xplore Christmas application form (DOCX) and send it back to us.

The closing date for grant applications to the above funds to go to panel during the financial year 2021/22 is 12.30pm on Monday 10th January 2022. Any applications received beyond this date will not go to panel until the new financial year.

COVID-19 Community Communication small grants

This funding has been made available to complement the existing Covid Champions network. The network is made up of champions who are able to get messages out to people who may not get them through normal channels. Over the last year, this has mainly involved updates on government guidelines, however the coming year will also be about recovery and include signposting to advice and support services.

The target groups for this year's fund have been identified as those missing from the current network, so please only apply if your group meets one of these. If you're unsure, please get in touch.

Target groups:

  1. Carers
  2. Asylum seekers or migrants
  3. People with a learning disability
  4. People with hearing loss or who are Deaf
  5. People with sight loss or who are Blind
  6. Travelling communities such as Gypsy/Roma/Traveller
  7. Young people aged 14 to 18

The COVID-19 Community Communication small grants programme is currently closed to applications.

Closing date for applications: 19 May 2021 at 1pm.

Covid recovery grant

Following on from last year's sustainability grant funding, this year we're moving on to providing funding to the town's voluntary and community sector to support VCS capacity to respond to the need for recovery. We're looking to offer funding in the following areas, which will help support residents to recover from the pandemic:

  • reducing social isolation, and encouraging social re-connection and a 'return to normal'
  • supporting people to recover from the mental health impact of the pandemic
  • increasing community cohesion, engagement and development (and building on communities strengthened through the pandemic where possible) 
  • increasing vaccination uptake - guidance, clarity, and practical support where possible (for example, support with appointments, transport, access, etc.)
  • supporting people with previous physical and mental health needs whose access to normal services was reduced by the pandemic
  • helping people recover financially through appropriate support and signposting
  • addressing health inequalities worsened by the pandemic

More information is available in the Covid recovery grant criteria (PDF).

The maximum grant available is £20,000, but smaller bids are also welcome.

The Covid recovery grant fund is currently closed to applications.

Closing date for applications: 28 May 2021 at 1pm.

Development Grants

The Grants to the Voluntary Sector budget includes about £20,000 that is makes available to fund new or emerging projects. This funding can be used to fund pilot projects where a need has been identified not already being met; to provide funding to plug a gap when a grant is in place but is not due to start until a later date but current funding is due to end before then; to provide short term funding to progress a business model. To discuss your need for funding from this programme please contact the Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer on 01642 729309


This year there is £18,000 available to fund one or two projects in the town to support elderly residents feel less lonely and isolated. Contact the Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer on 01642 729309.

Community Grant Fund

Grants of up to £1500 are available through the Community Grant Fund.

There are two different funds in the Community Grant Fund programme: the Small Grants Fund and the Community Chest.

Small Grants Fund

Our Small Grants Fund is for residents and small community groups who want to make a difference to their area. If you have an idea but you need some money to get it off the ground, let us know. You don't have to have a bank account or a constitution, we're just looking for people and groups who want to do some good, and need a helping hand to make that happen.

Please note, grants from the Small Grants Fund are for people or small groups working together to help and improve their local area. You cannot apply to the Small Grants Fund if you're planning to spend the money on yourself. If you're in crisis and need money, you may be able to get help through the Community Support Scheme.

Please note, if you want your application to go before the grants panel before Christmas, you must send it to us by 14 October 2021. Any applications received after this date will not go in front of the panel until early 2022.

Community Chest

Our Community Chest fund is for more established groups which have a constitution, bank account, and policies in place. Don't worry if you're not an established group - our Small Grants Fund might be better for you.

Funding is available for groups which are working for the benefit of Middlesbrough residents, and encouraging community participation and activity. Find out more in the Community Chest guidance.

Please note, if you want your application to go before the grants panel before Christmas, you must send it to us by 14 October 2021. Any applications received after this date will not go in front of the panel until early 2022.

For more information, contact the Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer on 01642 729309.

Privacy policy for the Community Grant Fund.

Community Fund - Staying Included

Staying Included is a council-run service aimed at helping vulnerable people find solutions to live independently at home and to stay connected to their community. This will allow individuals to live more healthily, become more active, form new friendships, and pursue their ambitions.

This grant is aimed at building capacity within the VCS to support clients beyond the Staying Included support period. Grant requests must be able to demonstrate how the funding will make a difference to supporting people.

Grants of up to £5000 are available. The total amount to be allocated in 2021-2022 is £25,000.

More information

Read: What funding is available to charities during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Carers Community Fund

This grants scheme is available to community-based groups who want to support informal carers in their area. There are two programmes a small grant programme for grants £20 to £5000 and a larger grant programme for applications of £5000 to £20,000.

Outcomes for your project should help with one or more of the following:

1.Reduce carers’ social isolation and develop social networks 

2.Help carers, families and communities to achieve and maintain wellbeing 

3.Reach, connect, and support disadvantaged carers.

4.Build on available community assets and resources to support carers

Application form for small grant

Application form for larger grant

Successful projects will have high involvement and ownership by the carers within the community, and be driven by them. Read the Carers Community Fund guidance before applying.

Please note, if you want your application to go before the grants panel before Christmas, you must send it to us by 14 October 2021. Any applications received after this date will not go in front of the panel until 10 January 2022.

Dementia Friendly Activities Grants

In Middlesbrough we want to ensure that people living with dementia are able to remain active and included members of their communities. Maintain their independence for as long as possible and be treated with understanding and respect. By delivering Dementia Friendly Activities in the home or community can help to make this happen.

Dementia Friendly Activities can:

  • help the person maintain independence in and around the home
  • improve cognitive stimulation
  • help maintain skills
  • improve self esteem
  • improve the quality of life for the person with dementia and their Carers and families
  • allow the person to express his or her feelings, through art, music, singing and dance
  • provide social contact through social activities and outings
  • Provide structure and reduce isolation

Grants of up from £20 to £5000.

View the Dementia Friendly Activities Grant Criteria 

Short Break Grants

Do you work with children or young people who are disabled? Grants of up to £3000 are available to groups offering positive activity to children and young people with a disability on evenings, weekends or during school holidays.

The Short Break Grants fund is currently closed to applications.

For more information, contact the Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer on 01642 729309.

ESF Community Grants Programme

Middlesbrough Council, in partnership with the four Tees Valley councils, has been awarded funding to support those who are furthest from the labour market to move into work. The programme is jointly funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 are available for individual projects. Funding is for the purpose of mobilising disadvantaged or excluded unemployed and economically inactive people to facilitate their progress towards employment.

Find out more about the ESF Community Grants Programme and apply.

Find a Funder training sessions

Training sessions on using Find a Funder are available. These sessions are aimed at community and voluntary sector groups looking for grant funding.

Our upcoming sessions are theme-based to encourage networking and learning from each other. Sessions will include a live search using the system, along with advice on completing funding applications. All training sessions are currently being held online.

Upcoming training sessions:

Educational bursaries

The Student Bursary Fund is no longer accepting applications.

As these are available due to Trust Funds, the amount available varies.

For more information, contact the Voluntary Sector Liaison and Grants Officer on 01642 729309.

Voluntary and community sector grants awarded - 2020-2021

View details of the purpose and size of grants awarded (2020-2021).

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